2016 August Wilson Monologue Competition Chicago Finals to be held Monday, March 7 at Goodman Theatre


Twenty-one Chicago high school students will perform in the August Wilson Monologue Competition Finals on Monday, March 7, 2015 at 6:00 pm at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. for a chance to represent Chicago in the National Competition in New York City. Judges for this years’ competition include Narda Alcorn, Equity Stage Manager on many August Wilson productions, playwright Lydia Diamond and actor Allen Gilmore, who has performed in numerous August Wilson plays.

The August Wilson Monologue Competition, sponsored locally by The League of Chicago Theatres, Goodman Theatre, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and organized in Chicago byDerrick Sanders, is a national competition open to all high school students. For the Chicago and National competition, students perform a 2-3 minute monologue of their choosing from one of the ten plays in August Wilson’s Century Cycle. The host venue, Goodman Theatre, was the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in Wilson’s acclaimed Century Cycle—including world premiere productions of Seven Guitars (1995) and Gem of the Ocean (2003).

The August Wilson Monologue Competition is free and open to the public.

Derrick Sanders comments, “This year saw record participation from Chicago area students with 400 talented young people competing in preliminaries. In this, our 7th year, I am so proud of and inspired by the continued dedication of Chicago students to learn the works of this important playwright. This competition connects students from all over the country and inspires them to read the works on August Wilson, it gives them the understanding of the text and the confidence and skills to perform the words.”

Four hundred students competed in the preliminary round and 21 students advanced to the Chicago finals. The top three monologues from among the Chicago finalists will be awarded scholarships in the amount of $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $100 for third place. Each of the three winning students will receive expenses paid to travel to New York City for the National Finals on May 3, 2016 held at the August Wilson Theatre.
Open to Chicago area high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, the August Wilson Monologue Competition focuses on exposing students to the richness of August Wilson’s Century Cycle, and incorporating the plays into the standard high school curriculum. The AWMC Chicago Preliminaries were held February 8-10, 2016 at Steppenwolf Theatre and the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago. The Semi-finals were held February 22, 2016 at University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Theatre and Music. Regional competitions will also take place in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Boston, and New York.

Chicago’s participation in this national event is coordinated by Derrick Sanders, who hopes to continue building robust partnerships with schools across Chicago, encouraging the adoption of August Wilson’s work into the standard curriculum. These partnerships create educational opportunities that allow students to connect to August Wilson and his work through the study of history, social studies and literature.

For more information on the Chicago competition, visit: http://chicagoplays.com/august-wilson-monologue-competition.html.

About Chicago theatre

Chicago theatre is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 that have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theatres serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. In 2009-10 alone,Chicago theatre companies produced more than 130 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year, Chicago theatres send new work to resident theatres across the country, to Broadway, and around the world.

About the League of Chicago Theatres

The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres which leverages its collective strength to promote, support, and advocate for Chicago’s theatre industry locally, nationally, and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theatre in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theatres and theatre professionals. For more information, www.chicagoplays.com.

About Goodman Theatre

Called America’s “Best Regional Theatre” by Time magazine, Goodman Theatre (Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer) has won international recognition for its artists, productions and programs, and is a major cultural, educational and economic pillar in Chicago. Founded in 1925 by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, Goodman Theatre has garnered hundreds of awards for artistic achievement and community engagement, including: two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards (including “Outstanding Regional Theatre” in 1992), nearly 160 Joseph Jefferson Awards and more. Visit GoodmanTheatre.org.